In today’s hypercompetitive era, organizations strive to remain profitable and sustainable amid market volatilities on a shrinking budget. Therefore, businesses must futureproof their most significant investment, their workforce, and utilize them optimally to stay ahead of the competition.
This is where a resource manager plays a vital role in the success and growth of any organization. They operate at an organizational unit level and ensure the billability of resources under their span of control. Accordingly, they allocate competent resources to suitable opportunities.
Further, a resource manager also looks after maximizing productive utilization, bridging the skill gaps, effective bench management, maintaining resource health index, etc.
This blog discusses the various responsibilities and qualities of a resource manager to prove their importance in an organization.
Now let’s look at a resource manager’s crucial roles and responsibilities.
Roles and responsibilities of Resource Managers in an organization
Here’s a rundown of the significant roles and responsibilities of resource managers:
1. Bridge capacity vs. demand gap with resource capacity planning
When a project is in the pipeline stage, the onus is on resource managers to conduct the capacity planning to stay abreast of future resource requirements. If there are any resource shortfalls or excesses, resource managers can implement various resourcing methods to mitigate the issue.
In case of any skill gaps, resource managers can plan and schedule training and upskilling opportunities for employees. They can also hire contingent or permanent workforce based on demand. When there are excess resources, they can negotiate with project managers to bring forward the timelines.
2. Enable timely and competent resource allocation
Each project requires a particular set of skills, competencies, and qualifications based on their demand. The improper allocation of resources affects the project quality, leading to budget and schedule overruns. Therefore, it is one of the primary responsibilities of resource managers to select the right resources for the right job.
Using Saviom’s resource management software, resource managers can look into the resource pool and identify the best-fit resources for the project. For this, they can consider various resource attributes such as skills, availability, capacity, and cost rate. This will help allocate cost-effective global resources and eliminate any chances of under or over-qualified personnel.
3. Maximize billable and strategic resource utilization
Maintaining the resource health index is the major concern of a resource manager. Therefore, resource managers have to constantly monitor the utilization levels of resources to ensure that every resource under their span of control is working on billable or strategic projects. They also need to prevent under/overutilization, affecting their engagement and productivity.
Using the resource management tool, managers can easily procure utilization reports and identify the non-billable/billable activities resources are working on. In case they are working on non-billable or low-priority work, they can mobilize resources to billable or high-priority work, thus ensuring maximum billability and optimal utilization.
4. Fulfill resource requirements across the department
Resource managers collaborate with the project manager to fulfill the resource demands before the project kicks off. Project managers usually request the resources either before the project onset or in a staggered manner, I.e., after completing certain project phases.
In this case, the resource managers have to look into the pool and identify appropriate resources based on the resource requests. Since organizations handle multiple projects simultaneously that require diverse expertise across fields, resource managers can equip an advanced resource management tool that automates the resource requisition workflow to avoid any power conflicts and maintain an audit trail for better transparency.
5. Mitigate resource-related risks proactively
Resource-related risks such as overallocation, lowered productivity, unplanned attrition, etc., negatively impact projects or businesses. It can lead to project delays, halts, or even failure, thus affecting the organization’s overall growth.
Therefore, resource managers need to assess and eliminate these risks to avoid the derailment of projects. For instance, they can optimize the utilization levels of resources to minimize stress and burnout. Further, they can also create a contingency plan by identifying backup resources from the pool to reduce the impact of sudden attrition risks.
6. Ensure effective bench management
Benched resources are non-billable since they do not generate any revenue. Moreover, since they are not utilized, it leads to disengagement and low morale. Therefore, resource managers need to monitor and track the bench size and implement methods to reduce the same.
Using enterprise resource management software, managers can foresee which project members will be rolled off from their current engagements. The tool also provides project vacancy reports which help resource managers allocate appropriate rolled-off resources to suitable opportunities proactively. In partial skill alignments, managers can also provide shadowing opportunities to resources to gain hands-on experience. Additionally, they can also implement resourcing treatments such as training, upskilling, etc., to utilize benched resources effectively in the future.
7. Plan training and development programs
Since skill demands are transforming rapidly based on industry trends, it is necessary to train and upskill employees to maintain a competitive edge and productivity. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the resource managers to identify the new skill demands and futureproof the workforce.
They also need to identify the skill gaps and formulate a learning and development program that aligns with employees’ interests. Proper training and upskilling opportunities help employees diversify their portfolios and help organizations utilize these skills to achieve their goals.
Now that the roles and responsibilities of resources are clear let’s look at some qualities every resource manager must possess.
5 key qualities of an effective Resource Manager
To execute every responsibility efficiently, resource managers need a set of skills and attributes that differentiate them from other managers. Below are some qualities of a resource manager.
- In-depth domain knowledge of a particular industry: A resource manager needs to have expert knowledge of their respective industry. Having the basics, technologies involved, areas of application, and the functioning of the sector is an added advantage in their role as resource managers.
- Quick decision-making & problem-solving skills: A resource manager must have good decision-making skills to prioritize tasks and allocate the right resources to projects. They also need practical problem-solving skills to implement corrective measures to mitigate resource constraints and resolve conflicts between resources and management.
- Experience in resource management space: Apart from having in-depth domain knowledge about the industry, resource managers should have prior experience in resource management. They need to have the necessary qualifications and certifications to prove their knowledge in various concepts like resource planning, allocation, forecasting, etc.
- Excellent communication & negotiation skills: As resource managers are responsible for fulfilling resource requests, they require excellent communication skills. It helps them understand the project resource requirements and convey them to the resources better. In addition, communication skills allow them to negotiate with the project manager and provide more opportunities for less experienced resources while fulfilling requests.
- Hands-on expertise with resource management tools: Most companies no longer rely on spreadsheets and use advanced tools to manage their resources. Therefore, resource managers must have hands-on experience in resource management tools to stay relevant in the competitive market.
Being a non-billable role, resource managers do not generate any direct income for an organization. However, investing in resource managers will benefit businesses in the long run and gain a competitive edge. The points mentioned above show that their expertise in managing resources efficiently plays a pivotal role in organizational growth and success.